If your grandchildren’s mom or dad won’t let you see your grand-kids, is there anything you can do about it?
In New Jersey, there is a statute that governs the rights of grandparents to see their grandchildren. In most cases, it is the decision of the parents as to whether grandparents can visit with their grandchildren. However, there are circumstances in which a grandparent can assert a legal right to see the children.
Under the statute, the court must consider the following factors:
(1) The relationship between the children and the grandparents.
(2) The relationship between each of the children’s parents or the person with whom the children are residing and the grandparents.
(3) The time which has elapsed since the children last had contact with the grandparents.
(4) The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship between the children and the children’s parents or the person with whom the children are residing.
(5) If the parents are divorced or separated, the time-sharing arrangement which exists between the parents with regard to the children.
(6) The good faith of the grandparents in filing the application.
(7) Any history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect by the grandparents; and
(8) Any other factor relevant to the best interests of the children.
In addition, the court assumes visitation is in the children’s best interest if the grandparents had, in the past, been full-time caretakers for the children.
In many cases, grandparents are not able to meet these factors. However, where Grandma or Grandpa has been an integral part of the child’s life, he or she may be able to meet these factors.
We believe that in most cases, the parents and the grandparents have good intentions. There are just concerns that are not being communicated effectively. For instance, if Dad has a drinking problem and Dad’s parents want to see the kids, sometimes Mom is uncomfortable with that because she doesn’t want the kids around Dad while he’s drinking. There are ways to tailor a visitation schedule so that the grandparents can see the kids with certain restrictions so that Mom’s concerns are addressed.
This is just one example. We see these kinds of cases often and we can help trouble shoot the issues so that you can resolve the matter in a way that addresses everyone’s concerns.
In cases of grandparents’ visitation, it may be helpful to mediate the dispute. The beauty of mediation is being able to create solutions that fit the circumstances of the parties. Here, at New Jersey Divorce Solutions, our goal is to help you reach an agreement that benefits all the parties involved. If you would like more information on grandparent mediation, contact New Jersey Divorce Solutions for a client vision meeting. Or you can schedule one right here.